Synaesthesia Magazine Americana - Page 16



When I was five, my Dad would take me to the sawmill. I loved watching the steam engines cloud the sky with pitch. I would stare at them as long as he would let me, as long as it took to feel the soot in my hair. When I got older, he’d take me to the carnival peep shows, and then later, to the whorehouses. Those flashes of small town nipples and heads bobbin in the dark made me feel like I was someplace else -- dark and greasy -- someplace I’d never think to get to on my own.

I hate small towns.

Hated being a preacher’s son.

Everything was old, tattered, and every day was a day of reckoning. I’d spend my afternoons watching black and white movies. The city folk in those films had fancy cars and chandeliers and never had dust in their homes . . . or doubts. My Dad had a lot of things, but he never claimed to have any doubts. Those were for me. When the clock struck seven on a Saturday night, my Dad thought himself a gambling man, his smile a silver bullet wrapped in an Italian suit, his tie the same cornflower blue as his eyes. It was Monte Carlo in the autumn of his life, he said, torrents of gin and honkatonk jazz flooding the streets with innuendo, loose talk, and loose change.